Saturday, 28 November 2020

League leaders hit back in style

LEAGUE leaders Henley Hawks Women had the edge in a bruising encounter at Dry Leas on Sunday against a strong Wasps 2nds side that included premiership experience.

LEAGUE leaders Henley Hawks Women had the edge in a bruising encounter at Dry Leas on Sunday against a strong Wasps 2nds side that included premiership experience.

From the start the visitors were out of the blocks and putting pressure on the ball carrier. The hits were hard and Henley were rattled for the first five minutes.

Despite some good early territory and possession it was the Wasps’ left winger who sped down the line for a breakaway try from inside their 22. This was the first time the Hawks had been behind all season.

The next 20 minutes saw Henley break the line on a number of occasions, only for some fine cover tackling to keep them out.

The hosts had started to build some phases and keep Wasps in their half. Hearn almost broke free and after good continuity, a sweeping move down the right wing saw Parry touch down in the corner, only for her foot to be in touch.

Henley didn’t let off the pressure and were in behind with some clever overloading fuelled by Carr’s initial burst.

Three phases later Aktinson came on at pace and put Wheeler in for the line. Wasps were to have the last say of the half, as the right winger finished well to put the visitors 10-5 up.

In the second half Henley pinned Wasps back as strong tackles from Barrett, Lynch and Solowin meant they struggled to get out of the 22.

The Hawks had the momentum and following a drive from the forwards the door opened for Dudding to slip through untouched. She duly converted her own try to put Henley in front for the first time. Clever kicks from Lych continued as Wasps struggled to break out. The back three chased and hunted down everything, coupled with a strong defence line that produced turnovers. Soon afterwards the ball reached Atkinson who bustled over.

Some late pressure from the ensuing restart made for a tense finish and but for a fine cover tackle from Simpson, it could have been very different.

Henley pushed Wasps back and saw out the final five minutes in the visitors’ half.

Henley Hawks Women: 1 Barrett, 2 Ferguson, 3 Adams, 4 Lester, 5 Wheeler, 6 Simpson, 7 Atkinson, 8 Wysocki-Jones, 9 Carr, 10 Lynch, 11 Carr, 12 Hearn, 13 Solowin, 14 Parry, 15 Wells. Subs: Dudding, Tivey, McDonnell, Mckenzie-Dalton, Cooke, Stacey, Walsh.

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